How Did MEGA Start?
By Jeff Wilhelm
Michiana Extract And Grain Association was created by a homebrewer that had the homebrewing addiction and who wanted to share the addiction with other homebrewers in the Michiana area.
Tim Sovine was this homebrewer.
“I moved to Mishawaka in the fall of 2003 and was brewing like a mad man and driving back to Fort Wayne for the occasional meeting since I couldn’t find a club up here. I met Rick and Tammy from Mishawaka Brewing at Octoberfest at Mad Anthony’s Brewing Company where they had a booth set up for the event. I asked them if there was a brew club in the area and they said to the best of their knowledge there wasn’t one. They said that there had been one at one time but it hadn’t been successful. I started hanging out at Mishawaka Brewing Company and bugging Rick and Tammy about getting a club started or hosting one at the brewpub every time I saw one of them. I bugged them so much I think that they were probably sick of seeing me. One day Tammy told me she put up a sign up sheet in the brew shop but someone was going to need to take it from there. Since I had pestered them about hosting a club, I thought I should make the calls to everyone who had signed up. We had our first meeting in, I think it was, December 2003.” ~Tim Sovine
I was one of the people who signed up and attended the first meeting in December 2003. I was just getting into homebrewing and thought it would be fun to share experiences with others. It was exciting to see just how many people who brewed in the area. At that meeting, we elected officers and started the process of finding a name. We voted on several name ideas and had chosen Tom Webster’s idea, Michiana Extract and Grain Association. Kyle Wheeler volunteered to create a Website and mailing list for us to communicate better. Kyle has since moved away from the Michiana area.
After the first year, our membership grew and shrunk as members moved away or become less interested in the club, but we still managed to keep the club in tact. And, we will always be here as long as homebrewers keep the interest in homebrewing the the interest to keep the club alive.